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Calipari blasts fifth-year transfer rule (and in turn, Louisville?)


Damion Lee at Drexel

Damion Lee at Drexel

Ask the average Joe what the problem is with college basketball and they’ll say the one-and-done rule; ask John Calipari and he’ll say the fifth year transfer rule, which has led to an epidemic of players leaving mid-major schools for more elite programs, which in turn leaves those mid-major schools (and their coaches) in a lurch.

“What’s happened right now, the fifth-year transfer has changed and made it tough for some of those schools that are building. It hasn’t affected Gonzaga. It hadn’t affected Wichita. It hadn’t affected some of the other schools. But the reality of it is that’s the issue, and I wish we could deal with it. It’s just guys are losing their best players their fifth year. Guys are losing jobs because kids are leaving and going to a major school.”

One of those guys who lost his job? Calipari’s good friend Bruiser Flint, whom Drexel fired last March, one year after his star player Damion Lee transferred to Louisville for his fifth year of eligibility. Flint, who was Drexel’s all-time winningest coach, has spent some time with Calipari this year, and clearly, Calipari has strong feelings about this issue.

“I just can’t imagine we can’t come up with a solution that you have to sit out. If you transfer, you sit out. It’s just what it is. I mean, whether you graduated or not, you sit out. From what I understand, there are programs that have the names of all the kids that have a chance of transferring and playing right away. Who can we grab out of that? Come on.”

From what I understand, Louisville has a track record of taking fifth-year transfers (including the aforementioned Lee and Trey Lewis last season), making this a not so subtle shot by Cal in Rick’s general direction.

“The problem is those kids play for a coach whose job may be on the line. So you take those kids and now all of a sudden, that guy loses his job. I don’t think it says the right thing to the kids. I know it’s not right for coaching.”

“But we’ll be mad about one and done. Really?”

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

21 responses to “Calipari blasts fifth-year transfer rule (and in turn, Louisville?)”

  1. pharmboy

    Julius Mays. Pot. Kettle.

  2. Blue Jesus

    Yeah I’m not sure where I stand on this one. I see where Cal’s coming from, but at the same time the transfer rule is certainly one that put’s “players first.” I’m sure there have been guys that got the added exposure they needed to have a shot at pro ball, which they might not have gotten at a place like, e.g., Drexel.

    But it is an interesting angle that, in part, the shortage of “madness” this year is linked the departure of top players from mid-majors. Not something I had considered.

    1. Blue Jesus

      puts*

  3. ukbradstith

    I’m drawing a blank. Besides lee and Lewis, who else has ul had that used the rule? Plus we got Mays and went after a few others.

  4. GroundControlToNumber9

    Calipari is completely wrong on this one… and it’s simply because he’s only looking at it one way.

    Sure from the coaches losing their jobs perspective it is a cry me a river moment.

    From the players perspective it is a win win. This is because the players who are in that ‘final chance’ of their college career moment to have built your ability to get a look as a 5th year Sr. should not be something you have to sit out a year to get.

    Think about it. You were overlooked coming out of high school (by the relevant schools). You earned your way to make a name for yourself over a 3 seasons to the point to where your getting looks from ‘relevant’ schools now. If Cal truely is a ‘players’ first coach then it can’t be a ‘his players’ only. It has to be all.

    The way to get NBA scouts to see you is to play for the relevant school. But some kids played for a terrible high school, had a bad high school coach, were overshadowed by a top player of the same year in their spot, or even had a significant injury in Soph or Jr year of High School.

    To suggest that it’s not fair to irrelevant coaches make Cal look less wise (and if he didn’t have a close friend affected by it his view might be a bit clearer on this).

  5. CB3UK

    Terrible take Cal. The kid has graduated…theybshould be rewarded not hindered. Make him sit a year…..absurd. I thought it was about what’s best for the kids future?

  6. Ridge Runner

    I of all people would not defend UL trust me but…

    When they take a transfer.. they are playing by the NCAA rules. Sound familiar? I mean it is what it is.

  7. CatFan5388

    So a player that has graduated needs to sit but the coach can leave and hang the kids out to dry and thats ok. Way to be players first.

  8. Han

    We took Mays and lost Lee. And though it’s not the same thing, we wanted Alex Oriakhi when he jumped ship from the banned Huskies. We’ve probably looked at other 5th years since they’re a more proven commodity than a Juco. It’s a crappy system that gets abused, but it’s also sometimes really helpful to schools like us who lose a lot of players early to the draft. It also helps give players an out when their coach is fired or leaves and is able to work somewhere else without sitting out, while players normally have to sit out.

    Cal can probably be reasoned out of this opinion at some point. A friend lost a job and Lee left us for Cal, so it’s probably clouding his memory that we even took Mays (and desperately needed him for depth and leadership that year).

  9. Eazy

    How bout the vaunted ACC! 0-3 today and getting waxed by the Gators. Overrated indeed.

    1. Ridge Runner

      I’m with ya Easy… There is good in the world!

    2. Eazy

      Fsu and Va both got embarrassed. The ACC is .500 in the tournament SEC is 5-1!

    3. Eazy

      The ACC is overrated. They have 6 losses. The SEC has 1. And to say we won’t make it past next weekend is not going out on a limb. UL won’t make it past next weekend. UK has a better shot than UL. And unlike UL fans we take pride in what our school does over conference affiliation. UK is 34-16 vs UL and has win 7 of our last 8 games against the ACC including 4 straight in the tournament. We own you.

    4. Eazy

      Your Cards aren’t even going to make it to next weekend. The ACC is now 6-7. What a joke! I guess you will have to root for UNC and Duke now. lol.

    5. ABthetruth502

      Acc is still the best conf in the ncaa, and Still has more wins than the weak ass SEC lol. But I Guess you kittens have to take pride in something this year since yall won’t make it past next weekend lol

    6. catsarerunnin

      Bye Bye Birdie

  10. dballrb

    I also think coach is wrong on this point.But,in this day and age if you have NBA skills scouts will find you regardless where you play.

  11. ABthetruth502

    Is Cal really crying about this right now?? He’s got Louisville on his mind this time of year too lol. First of all Uofl isn’t the only team that takes fifth year guys. Second if a GROWN MAN has a year left of eligibility, and wants to compete for a conf title/national title, them who are we top impede them on a role that is clearly geared to rewarding players who have stayed all four years and actually GRADUATED. Something Cal cares nothing about. He would be the one to not like this rule lol

    1. catsarerunnin

      Which girls school did you graduate from?

    2. Eazy

      UK is 34-16 and Cal is 8-2 against Louisville. We have 8 titles to your 3. We will advance farther than UL again this year. Why would we be worried about a school we own.